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The soft breath stealing visible and clear, A little figure, in a cotton gown,
Two chestnuts burning slowly, side by side, How free she wandered in the wicked place,
Her lips apart, her clear eyes strained to see, Protected only by her gentle face !
Her little hands clasped tight around her knee, She saw bad things — how could she choose but The firelight gleaming on her golden head, see?
And tinting her white neck to rosy red, She heard of wantonness and misery ;
Her features bright, and beautiful, and pure, The city closed around her night and day, With childish fear and yearning half demure. But lightly, happily, she went her way. Nothing of evil that she saw or heard
O sweet, sweet dream! I thought, and strained Could touch a heart so innocently stirred, By simple hopes that cheered it through the storm, Fearing to break the spell with words and sighs. And little flutterings that kept it warm.
Softly she stooped, her dear face sweetly fair, No power had she to reason out her needs,
And sweeter since a light like love was there, To give the whence and wherefore of her deeds ; Brightening, watching, more and more elate, But she was good and pure amid the strife, As the nuts glowed together in the grate, By virtue of the joy that was her life.
Crackling with little jets of fiery light, Here, where a thousand spirits daily fall, Till side by side they turned to ashes white, Where heart and soul and senses turn to gall, Then up she leapt, her face cast off its fear She floated, pure as innocent could be,
For rapture that itself was radiance clear, Like a small sea-bird on a stormy sea,
And would have clapped her little hands in glee, Which breasts the billows, wafted to and fro, But, pausing, bit her lips and peeped at me, Fearless, uninjured, while the strong winds blow, And met the face that yearned on her so whitely, While the clouds gather, and the waters roar, And gave a cry and trembled, blushing brightly, And mighty ships are broken on the shore. While, raised on elbow, as she turned to flee,
Polly!" I cried, — and grew as red as she ! 'T was when the spring was coming, when the
It was no dream! for soon my thoughts were Had melted, and fresh winds began to blow,
clear, And girls were selling violets in the town, And she could tell me all, and I could hear : That suddenly a fever struck me down.
How in my sickness friendless I had lain, The world was changed, the sense of life was pained, How the hard people pitied not my pain ; And nothing but a shadow-land remained ; How, in despite of what bad people said, Death came in a dark mist and looked at me, She left her labors, stopped beside my bed, I felt his breathing, though I could not see, And nursed me, thinking sadly I would die ; But heavily I lay and did not stir,
How, in the end, the danger passed me by ; And had strange images and dreams of her. How she had sought to steal away before Then came a vacancy : with feeble breath, The sickness passed, and I was strong once more. I shivered under the cold touch of Death, By fits she told the story in mine ear, And swooned among strange visions of the dead, And troubled all the telling with a fear When a voice called from heaven, and he fled ;
Lest by my cold man's heart she should be chid, And suddenly I wakened, as it seemed,
Lest I should think her bold in what she did; From a deep sleep wherein I had not dreamed. But, lying on my bed, I dared to say,
How I had watched and loved her many a day, And it was night, and I could see and hear, And I was in the room I held so dear,
How dear she was to me, and dearer still And unaware, stretched out upon my bed,
For that strange kindness done while I was ill,
And how I could but think that Heaven above I hearkened for a footstep overhead.
Had done it all to bind our lives in love. But all was hushed. I looked around the room, And Polly cried, turning her face away, And slowly made out shapes amid the gloom. And seemed afraid, and answered “yea" nor The wall was reddened by a rosy light,
“nay”; A faint fire flickered, and I knew 't was night, Then stealing close, with little pants and sighs, Because below there was a sound of feet
Looked on my pale thin face and earnest eyes, Dying away along the quiet street,
And seemed in act to Aling her arms about When, turning my pale face and sighing low, My neck, then, blushing, paused, in fluttering I saw a vision in the quiet glow :
Last, sprang upon my heart, sighing and sob. | What but a dress to go to church in
And wear right queenly 'neath a honey-moon ! That I might feel how gladly hers was throbbing ! And who shall match her with her new straw
bonnet, Ah ! ne'er shall I forget until I die
Her tiny foot and little boot upon it, How happily the dreamy days went by, Embroidered petticoat and silk gown new, While I grew well, and lay with soft heart-beats, And shawl she wears as few fine ladies do ? Heark’ning the pleasant murmur from the streets, And she will keep, to charm away all ill, And Polly by me like a sunny beam,
The lucky sixpence in her pocket still ; And life all changed, and love a drowsy dream! And we will turn, come fair or cloudy weather, ’T was happiness enough to lie and see
To ashes, like the chestnuts, close together!
Did you hear of the Widow Malone,
Ohone ! And think how pure she was from pain and Who lived in the town of Athlone, sin,
Alone ! And how the summer days were coming in !
O, she melted the hearts Then, as the sunset faded from the room,
Of the swains in them parts : To listen for her footstep in the gloom,
So lovely the Widow Malone, To pant as it came stealing up the stair,
Ohone ! To feel my whole life brighten unaware
So lovely the Widow Malone.
Of lovers she had a full score,
And fortunes they all had galore,
From the minister down
To the clerk of the Crown
All were courting the Widow Malone,
All were courting the Widow Malone.
But so modest was Mistress Malone,
'T was known Once, like a little sinner for transgression, She blushed upon my breast, and made confession :
That no one could see her alone,
Let them ogle and sigh,
They could ne'er catch her eyn The other was the person she loved best,
So bashful the Widow Malone,
So bashful the Widow Malone.
Till one Misther O'Brien, from Clare, And had the pretty charm not proven right ?
(How quare ! Thus much, and more, with timorous joy, she It's little for blushing they care said,
Down there.) While her confessor, too, grew rosy red,
Put his arm round her waist, And close together pressed two blissful faces,
Gave ten kisses at laste, As I absolved the sinner, with embraces.
“O," says he, “you're my Molly Malone,
My own! And here is winter come again, winds blow,
0," says he, "you 're my Molly Malone !" The houses and the streets are white with snow; And in the long and pleasant eventide,
And the widow they all thought so shy, Why, what is Polly making at my side ?
My eye! What but a silk gown, beautiful and grand,
Ne'er thought of a simper or sigh, We bought together lately in the Strand !
In store ;
But, “Lucius," says she,
“Git oot wid the', Jwohnny! - thou 's tewt me “Since you 've now made so free,
reet sair ; You may marry your Mary Malone, Thou 's brocken my comb, an' thou 's toozelt my Ohone !
hair. You may marry your Mary Malone." I will n't be kisst, thou unmannerly loot !
Was t'ere iver sec impidence ? Jwohnny, git oot ! There's a moral contained in my song,
“Git oot wid the', Jwohnny!- I tell the be And one comfort, it's not very long,
Does t’é think I'll tak' up wid Ann Dixon's If for widows you die,
oald sheùn ? Learn to kiss, not to sigh ;
Thou ma' gā' till Ann Dixon, an' pu' her aboot ; For they 're all like sweet Mistress Malone, But thou s'all n't pu' me, sàa, — Jwohnny, git Ohone !
oot!" O, they 're all like sweet Mistress Malone ! Well ! that's sent him off, an' I'm sorry it
hes; He med ken 'at yan niver means hoaf 'at yan
He's a reet canny fellow, however I floot,
oot!" “Git oot wid the', Jwohnny, - thou's no' but
a fash; Thou 'll come till thou raises a desperate clash.
DUNCAN GRAY CAM' HERE TO W00. Thou 's here every day, just to put yan aboot;
DUNCAN Gray cam' here to woo — An' thou moiders yan terribly, — Jwohnny, git
Ha, ha! the wooing o't! oot!
On blythe Yule night when we were fu' – “What says t'é? I's bonnie ? Whey! that's
Ha, ha! the wooing o't ! nowte 'at's new.
Maggie coost her head fu' high,
Looked asklent and unco skeigh, Thou 's wantin' a sweetheart? Thou 's had a gay few !
Gart poor Duncan stand abeigh
Ha, ha! the wooing o't ! An' thou 's cheatit them, yan efter t'udder, nèa doobt ;
Duncan fleeched and Duncan prayed -But I's nūt to be cheatit sàa, — Jwohnny, git
Ha, ha ! the wooing o't! oot !
Meg was deaf as Ailsa craig
Ha, ha! the wooing o't! “There's planty o'lads, i' beàth Lamplugh an' Duncan sighed baith out and in, Dean,
Grat his een baith bleer't and blin', As yabble as thee, an'as weel to be seen ;
Spak o' low pin o'er a linnAn' I med tak my pick amang o' there aboot :
Ha, ha ! the wooing o't !
Time and chance are but a tide-
Ha, ha ! the wooing o't! “What? Nūt yan amang them 'at likes mé sae
Slighted love is sair to bide
Ha, ha! the wooing o't ! weel?
Shall I, like a fool, quoth he, Whey, min, there's Dick Walker an' Jonathan Peel
For a haughty hizzie dee? 'At ola 's foorsett mé i' t lonnings aboot ;
She may gae to— France for me! An' beāth want to sweetheart mé, — Jwohnny,
Ha, ha ! the wooing o't! git oot!
How it comes let doctors tell
Ha, ha! the wooing o't! “What? Thou will hev a kiss ? — Ah! but Meg grew sick as he grew heal – tak 't if thou dăr!
Ha, ha! the wooing o't ! I tell the' I'll squeel, if thou tries to củ' nār. Something in her bosom wrings, Tak care o' my collar ! ---- thou byspel, I 'll shoot ! For relief a sigh she brings ; Nay, thou sha' n't hev anudder !- Noo, Jwohn And O, her een they speak sic things ! ny, git oot!
Ha, ha ! the wooing o't!
OR, GOOD OMENS.
Duncan was a lad o' grace
And I've made myself, drinking your health, Ha, ha! the wooing o't!
quite a baste, Maggie's was a piteous case —
So I think, after that, I may talk to the priest." Ha, ha! the wooing o't!
Then Rory, the rogue, stole his arm round her Duncan could na be her death :
neck, Swelling pity smoored his wrath.
So soft and so white, without freckle or speck ; Now they 're crouse and canty baith, And he looked in her eyes, that were beaming Ha, ha ! the wooing o't!
with light, And he kissed her sweet lips - Don't you think
he was right?
“Now Rory, leave off, sir — you 'll hug me no RORY O'MORE ;
more, That's eight times to-day you have kissed me
“Then here goes another," says he, “to make sure, Young Rory O'More courted Kathleen Bawn; For there's luck in odd numbers," says Rory He was bold as the hawk, and she soft as the dawn; O'More. He wished in his heart pretty Kathleen to please, And he thought the best way to do that was to tease.
KISSING HER HAIR. “Now, Rory, be aisy," sweet Kathleen would cry, Reproof on her lip, but a smile in her eye ;
KISSING her hair, I sat against her feet : “With your tricks, I don't know, in throth, what
Woveand unwoveit, — wound, and found it sweet; I'm about;
Made fast therewith her hands, drew down hereyes, Faith you've teazed till I've put on my cloak Deep as deep flowers, and dreamy like dim skies ; inside out."
With her own tresses bound, and found her fair, — “Och! jewel,” says Rory, "that same is the way You've thrated my heart for this many a day ;
Kissing her hair. And 't is plazed that I am, and why not, to be sure ? Sleep were no sweeter than her face to me, For 't is all for good luck," says bold Rory O'More. Sleep of cold sea-bloom under the cold sea :
What pain could get between my face and hers ?
What newsweet thing would Love not relish worse? “Indeed, then,” says Kathleen, “don't think of the like,
Unless, perhaps, white Death had kissed me
there, For I half gave a promise to soothering Mike; The ground that I walk on he loves, I'll be
Kissing her hair. bound”. "Faith !” says Rory, “I'd rather love you than
the ground." “Now, Rory, I'll cry if you don't let me go : WHEN THE SULTAN GOES TO ISPAHAN. Sure I dream ev'ry night that I'm hating you
When the Sultan Shah Zaman “Och!" says Rory, “that same I’m delighted to Goes to the city Ispahan, hear,
Even before he gets so far For dhrames always go by conthraries, my dear. As the place where the clustered palm-trees are, Och ! jewel, keep dhraming that same till you At the last of the thirty palace-gates, die,
The Pet of the Harem, Rose in Bloom, And bright morning will give dirty night the black Orders a feast in his favorite room, lie!
Glittering squares of colored ice, And 't is plazed that I am, and why not, to be Sweetened with syrups, tinctured with spice ; sure?
Creams, and cordials, and sugared dates ;
Limes, and citrons, and apricots ;
And wines that are known to Eastern princes. “Arrah, Kathleen, my darlint, you've teazed me And Nubian slaves, with smoking pots enough ;
Of spiced meats, and costliest fish, Sure, I've thrashed, for your sake, Dinny Grimes And all that the curious palate could wish, and Jim Duff;
Pass in and out of the cedarn doors.
ALGERNON CHARLES SWINBURNE.
Scattered over mosaic floors
Not for the Sultan Shah-Zaman
Then at a wave of her sunny hand,
That's when the Sultan Shah-Zaman
FROM “HASSAN BEN KHALED."
As it grew
“Music!' they shouted, echoing my demand,
“Here ceased the fingers of the maid to stray